Dharmendra Pradhan (pronounced born 26 June 1969) is an Indian politician serving as the Minister of Education and Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in the Government of India. He is an alumnus of Talcher College and Utkal University. Additionally, he has previously held positions as the Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Minister of Steel. Pradhan was elevated to the role of Cabinet Minister on 3 September 2017. Currently, he represents Madhya Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha as a Member of Parliament. In the past, he was a member of the 14th Lok Sabha.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has characterized the 26-party INDIA bloc as a ‘real challenge’ in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Expressing a desire to contest the upcoming polls, he emphasized that the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) doesn’t take any election lightly. The Rajya Sabha MP stated that the primary agenda of his party is to ensure that Prime Minister Narendra Modi secures a third term in office. Pradhan views the INDIA bloc as a substantial challenge and highlighted the BJP and NDA’s commitment to approaching every election seriously. He emphasized the involvement of ground-level workers to top leaders, with the prime minister leading the charge, providing a comprehensive report on his work, appealing to the people, and addressing misleading statements and double standards of the opposition, according to news agency PTI. Pradhan also commented on alliances formed without principles, attributing them to ‘fear, arrogance, or selfishness,’ without specifying any particular party or individual. He underscored that their unwavering efforts aim to garner the people’s blessings through dedicated work.
The Union Minister also delved into recent discussions regarding the Women’s Reservation Bill, praising the Prime Minister for setting an example. “The Congress allowed the women’s reservation bill to lapse and demonstrated no commitment to it during its tenure. No one supported it. They had the opportunity (to pass the bill) but chose not to. Why didn’t they take action? They were in power from 2008 to 2014, particularly the Congress party. What hindered them? They never displayed the commitment to do it,” he remarked.
He also criticized Congress MP Rahul Gandhi for advocating a pan-India caste-based census in recent days. Pradhan expressed the view that the Wayanad lawmaker and his “family party” should provide a detailed account of the work they undertook for OBCs and weaker sections over the last 75 years. “Those who failed in their duties and then criticize… this is termed opportunistic politics. You did nothing,” he stated.